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  • Need help on expansion/contraction platform system

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by toponder, Jan 21, 2010.

    1. toponder

      toponder New Member

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      I'm trying to determine the most efficient method for a mining project I'm involved with doing with an expansion platform that expands and contracts repeatedly into different substrates (from sandy to gravel to dense muddy material). So whatever design I use will have to be able to open and close quickly and repeatedly even after getting full of muck The expansion area would be roughly oblong to round in shape, about 2 ft. in diameter. I can't go into total detail because of confidentiality agreements I've signed, but would really like some help on efficient ways to accomplish the basic process.

      What I want to accomplish is have an area expand with a modest amount of pressure on a downward trigger point. I'm thinking a helical screw which simply causes outward rotation of different arms or wings to create a temporarily larger surface area - or maybe a light-weight servo-solenoid switch of some type. But I prefer a strictly mechanical design as much of the usage will be in the field where power may be unavailable. I'm looking for a process that requires as little pressure as possible to initiate the expansion. I am thinking the retraction could be accomplished by simiple torsional or other spring process.

      Thanks for any ideas!
       
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    3. garnettools

      garnettools Member

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      Why cant you use hydraulic and pneumatic instead?
      And there you can have bellows, balloons.
      Still due to incomplete understanding of your problem it will be very difficult for me to really give you a suggestion.
       
    4. toponder

      toponder New Member

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      Thanks gametools. Yea, sorry I'm not allowed to give details (non-disclosure thing). But it should be strictly mechanical as opposed to hydraulic or pneumatic. It is for work in the field and needs to be lightweight and un-powered if possible, but still very sturdy. Again, hoping for a process that requires little trigger pressure and a small vertical travel (compared to the expansion distance) to initiate the expansion. I'm looking for basic mechanical methods that could accomplish this. Thanks...
       

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